The Smith & Wesson quarterly report for the period ending July 31, 2011 was filed yesterday. Â Reading through these reports offers some amazing insights into the goings-on of a publicly traded company.
The reports can also make your eyes glaze over, and suck the will to live from you. Â So to help you avoid such a fate, here are a few of the highlights.
For the quarter ending July 31, 2011, Smith & Wesson net product and services sales were up 18% ($14 million) to $91.7 million as compared to the same quarter the previous year.
S&W reported a “significant increase” in the sales from their Sigma line of handguns, which they attributed to the company’s “price repositioning strategy.” Â Sigma handguns in both 9mm and .40 S&W are typically found in the $270-290 price range. At these prices, the Sigma offers an incredible value to the shooter on a budget.
The Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38 is a new “hammerless” revolver like those found in the Centennial line. Â Unlike those guns, the new Bodyguard 38 has a polymer frame and integral laser. Â It is one of two new compact handguns called Bodyguard introduced by S&W at the 2010 SHOT Show.
First, the basics, it is a five-shot, 38 Special revolver that is rated for +P ammunition.Â The hammer is fully concealed, and the gun is double action only.Â The gun is black with a grip.Â At first glance, it looks a lot like a model 442.Â But, this revolver is actually very different.
The Bodyguard 38 is a polymer-framed revolver, the first-ever by Smith & Wesson.Â This means that Smith had to go back to the drawing board to design this firearm.Â The lower frame (roughly from the rear of the cylinder back), is polymer, while the upper frame (surrounding the cylinder and housing the barrel) is aluminum.Â As you might expect, the revolver is very light, weighing only 14.3 ounces.
A significant change on the Bodyguard 38 is the relocation of the cylinder release.Â Instead of being mounted on the side of the frame, the release has been moved to the top of the frame, where an exposed hammer would normally be.Â Since the cylinder release is along the midline of the revolver, it is now ambidextrous.
Speaking of the cylinder, one of the problems sometimes cited by owners of Smith & Wesson J-frames is the extractor rod is too short to reliably eject fired brass.Â This is an annoyance at the range, but a possible deadly problem in a self-defense shooting.Â While not full length, the rod on the Bodyguard 38 is noticeably longer to provide a more sure ejection of spent cartridges.
Smith and Wesson lists the barrel length as 1.9″.Â Traditionally, S&W has listed the barrel length of their “snubbies” at either 1 7/8″ (1.875″) or 2″.Â I assumed that Smith was rounding up the 1.875″, but the company rep insisted the barrel length was exactly 1.9″.
Sights are fixed and black.Â The rear notch seems wider than the notch on the 442/642, but that is my impression only.Â I didn’t measure them, and the Smith rep was not sure.
Significantly, the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38 ships with an integrated laser from Insight Technology.Â The red laser mounts high and back on the right side of the frame.Â The laser is adjustable for drift and elevation.Â Two laser modes are offered: steady and pulse.Â To activate the laser, the shooter may turn the unit on by pressing a button on the unit.